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The croze, or croze plane, is a tool used by coopers to make barrels. It consists of a handle with a blade on top. The tool has a wooden semicircle at its end, which serves as a guide. The croze is used to cut a groove (also named the croze) in each of the two ends of the staves, which are the vertical pieces of wood that make up a barrel. The groove is used to encase the pieces of wood to make the barrel airtight.

Along with the cooper, the carpenter is the other crew member who works with wood. These two craftsmen are kept busy with building the various structures needed by the crew, as well as repairing the boats. The cooper, harpooner, and melter are usually assisted by apprentices, often family members.


Date: Replica of a 16th-century object

Origin: North America

Owner: Canadian Museum of History.


Delmas, V. (2018). Les pêcheurs basques au Canada, 1530–1760, de la culture matérielle à l’identité culturelle [Basque whalers in Canada, 1530–1760, from material culture to cultural identity] [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Université de Montréal.

Lucotte, J.-R., & Bénard, R. (1772). Jabloir [Croze]. In J. L. R. D’Alembert, & D. Diderot (Eds.), L’Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonnée des sciences, des arts et des métiers, Planches, vol. 10, Tonnelier pl. 4. http://enccre.academie-sciences.fr/encyclopedie/planche/v31-x6?p=v31-g117&vp=y&

Illustration: Croze